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TV: Single Father \ Episode 4 \ BBC Scotland

October 31, 2010

Episode 4 was always going to see some ends being tied up. There were plenty too. Some endings neater than others, it has to be said.

Mind you, Dave was haunted by Sarah and Rita and … seemingly everything. Yes, I know he’s been through a lot these past 22 weeks but his self-imposed punishment to choose between Sarah or the children seemed a little holier than thou. But I can see now – as much as it felt a little ham-fisted – it was vital to ushering in the redemptive bits.

If Dave’s sister hadn’t been brought back into line by her husband when she challenged him over the credit card bill (an agonising moment which almost seemed to suggest both would probably quite like role-play if they hadn’t already tried it) then she wouldn’t have been able to enable Dave’s big moment of redemption with Sarah. And in the process of doing that we wouldn’t have been able to see how much Dave’s sister had changed as a result of all this. She’d gone through a transformation. She’d gone from uptight to incredibly understanding. In the space of … Er a few weeks ?

That wasn’t the only thing which prompted a raised eyebrow. The poor line delivered by her to Dave at the garden table did rather signpost the fact that we were skidding towards the end of the story. That and he scene in question demanded a quick rewrite. Nobody says ‘everyone’s been talking about it for 8 weeks’. They normally say 2 months or a couple of months. ‘8 weeks’ just seems a bit too laboured.

If it seems like I’m being overly critical for a piece of entertainment, then its only because I’ve been surprised to what extent I’ve got into this series. BBC One stuff does usually leave me dissatisfied. I can normally sense of an air of contempt wafting around making me reach for a damp tea towel.

Not so with Single Father. Debatably unconvincing endings aside (let this episode be a lesson – think twice before you ring your employer to hand in your resignation – some it seems take action within 24 hours without anything in writing), I still invested in these characters. I can’t remember the last time I did that with a UK drama.

::Watch Episode 4 of Single Father via the BBC Programmes website

  1. Scott permalink

    Thoroughly engaging drama. Disappointed the 4 part series is over. Drawn in to the characters and the events and emotions they were dealing with. Reconciliation and hope for the future, must be getting soft in my middle age.

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